Are they really undying with -1/-1 until end of turn?

Asked by Brainiac0 5 years ago

Say you have a Geralf's Messenger on the battlefield and you activate a Carrion Feeder .You sac Geralf's Messenger to Carrion Feeder , it comes back with a +1/+1 counter on it and then you activate Nausea so Geralf's Messenger gets -1/-1.Can you keep sacing it for ever?

Denial048 says... #1

Nausea's effect is static, not counters. Therefore, it won't remove the +1/+1 counter that Undying gave to Geralf's Messenger, and Undying wont trigger if you sac it again.

On top of that, Nausea only affects creatures that were on the battlefield at the time it was cast (you don't activate Sorceries, or any spell, you cast them)

So when Geralf's Messenger would return from Undying, it is a new instance, and the previous casting of Nausea doesn't affect it

May 28, 2016 6:06 a.m.

Boza says... Accepted answer #2

  1. You cannot activate Nausea, it is an actual spell that you cast.
  2. Giving a creature -1/-1 until end of turn is not the same as giving it a -1/-1 counter. A counter is used to indicate a permanent boost or decrease, unlike the one from Nausea.
  3. When a permanent changes zones, all counters are lost, but abilities like undying use "last known information" about the permanent to determine if they trigger.
  4. When that permanent returns for some reason to the battlefield, it loses memory of its previous existence, despite being the same card.
  5. A permanent cannot have +1/+1 AND -1/-1 counters at the same time, they cancel each other out.
  6. To get rid of +1/+1 counters, you have two options - remove them with a spell or ability like Vampire Hexmage's ability; or cancel them out by applying -1/-1 counters.

Putting all of the above together:

If you sacrifice a Geralf's Messenger to Carrion Feeder, he will return to battlefield due to undying with a +1/+1 counter.

If you then cast Black Sun's Zenith with X=5, the creature will go the graveyard with 4 -1/-1 counters on it and it will return again due to undying with a +1/+1 counter only.

If you cast Languish instead, the creature will not return, since it died with +1/+1 counter on it and undying will not trigger (despite the creature having negative toughness).

May 28, 2016 6:17 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #3

Unfortunately both of the above answers have mistakes even though they are about 90% right.

Denial048: Spells and abilities that create one shot effects such as Nausea affect only what is on on the battlefield when they resolve not when they are cast. If a creature with flash is put in or an instant makes tokens the new creatures will be affected by the effect. Likewise if someone casts Cloudshift the creature that is not the same object as it was when the Nausea was cast will be affected.

Boza: BSZ for 5 with an undead Geralf's Messenger will keep the messenger dead. Being put into the graveyard for having 0 or less toughness is also a SBA. 704.7 explains what qualifies as last known information in this case.

704.7. If a state-based action results in a permanent leaving the battlefield at the same time other state-based actions were performed, that permanents last known information is derived from the game state before any of those state-based actions were performed.

Now BSZ for 1 or 2 and then sacrificing the Geralf's Messenger to some other effect will allow him to come back again due to undying. If the application of the -1/-1 counters is what killed it then the last known information had it as having a +1/+1 counter on it.

May 28, 2016 10:41 a.m.

Denial048 says... #4

Shoot, your right. I guess I got caught up on them saying "activate" rather than "cast", but yes, resolving is the key point there.

May 28, 2016 4:43 p.m.

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